The Steelers and Colts meet in this year’s Thanksgiving finale, but injuries have put a damper on what could be one the NFL’s top QB matchups.
Andrew Luck has a concussion, and on Wednesday was officially ruled out of this week’s contest. Scott Tolzien will start under center for the Colts, who are now as much as a nine-point underdog at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Even with Luck under center, the last few meetings between these teams have been all Steelers. The past two meetings have both been Steelers blowouts: first a 51-34 shootout in 2014, then a 45-10 Steelers win last season.
History aside, the Steelers have struggled as favorites this season. They’re 1-4 against the spread in their last five games, with the one cover coming last week in Cleveland. The Colts, on the other hand, have been solid against the spread. They’re 4-1-1 in their last five, including a comfortable win over the Titans last week.
Thursday’s game will largely depend upon Tolzien, who is making his first start since he played for the Packers in 2013. That season he filled in twice for Aaron Rodgers, throwing zero touchdowns and three interceptions in a loss and a draw. It is Tolzien’s first start since 2013, and the Colts don’t really have much behind him. Stephen Morris will back up Tolzien, with punter Pat McAfee as the third-string QB.
The Steelers offense is largely dependent on a few players, but those players shouldn’t have issues against the Colts defense. Le’Veon Bell should have a strong game Thursday night, and Roethlisberger shouldn’t be bothered much by the Colts’ pass rush.
Heavy’s Pick: Steelers 38 Colts 13. Steelers -9. Over on the Point Total.